A good friend once announced that upon first meeting me, she hated me. And, despite her insistence that she likes me now, I started wondering about likeability.
You see, as a person, I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘instantly likeable’.
Through a combination of nervousness and awkwardness, I tend to greet people with an endless stream of word vomit, normally followed by an intensely personal question. Which despite my best efforts, I haven’t seemed to curb. I knock over drinks, tables and bags almost every time I go out, and I’m famed for my bluntness. But, sometimes I sit back and wonder if this is actually my personality?
Though recently I find myself turning to James after almost every social occasion and asking ‘do you think everyone hates me?’
Objectively, the answer is no. I have plenty of friends, a doting family and I work with people that I like enough to see outside of work, so, on the whole, I have it pretty good.
But, when we talk about bloggers, there’s an emphasis on the ‘likeability factor’, and in all honesty, I’m not sure if that’s something that I have. Not instantly, anyway. And, that’s not a bad thing. Some of the greatest people I know are not instantly likeable. They’re sarcastic, cynical or awkward, but bring brilliance to almost every table they sit at.
There’s this strong sense that you turn 20, and you know who you are. By 25, you should have figured out your personality, and yet I get this weird feeling that I still don’t know everything I should about myself. And, I find myself with lying awake replaying endless conversations I’ve had over the day, wondering if I came off as a bit of an arsehole.
That said, when I think about qualities that I aspire to possess, likeability is far down the list.
I want to be empathetic and resourceful, I want to be creative, non-judgemental and honest. And, maybe there’s a strange kind of power in knowing that I’ll never be a ‘people person’.
So, here’s to all those that make a terrible first impression. To everyone that isn’t likeable. Because the more I think about it, if I’m not likeable, I can be something better.